FactsOfIsrael.com News, Comments and Links

<- Back to Main page

June 10, 2003
 Send to Printer    Link to this page
The Death of France

Frontpage Magazine (www.frontpagemag.com) has published a great article on how France is no longer part of the civilized Western World:

The notion of the death of France is not, by any means, an absurd notion. To the contrary: it is an increasingly plausible possibility - or a reality occurring right before our eyes, according to some. The presence of a huge and growing Muslim population in France has fundamentally altered the identity of the nation. Anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism have become endemic, as France chooses Islamicization and friendship with Arab dictators over friendship with America and Israel.

The reports that France helped Iraqi officials escape to Europe were not surprising, because France is now the European leader of the Arab world and of Arab interests.

In light of these circumstances, many would argue that France is no longer. . . well, France. [...]

France has no army and no police anymore. France is declining fast, demographically speaking and economically speaking. France does not serve its own interest: as a part of the West, if it was the case, she would have to be on the side of the West, and so on the side of the United States.

France behaves more and more as if she does belong to the West anymore and as though she is the leader of the third world. Doing this, France has nothing to win, maybe just second-rate contracts and an ephemeral popularity among all the frustrated in the world. France will win only one thing, and for a short time, peace inside France: it will avoid riots among Muslims living in France now.

Read the whole article, it's an excellent discussion with multiple points of view. Found this on the excellent LGF.

The Death of France?
By Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazine.com, June 9, 2003
http://www.frontpagemag.com/
Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=8268

The notion of the death of France is not, by any means, an absurd notion. To the contrary: it is an increasingly plausible possibility - or a reality occurring right before our eyes, according to some. The presence of a huge and growing Muslim population in France has fundamentally altered the identity of the nation. Anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism have become endemic, as France chooses Islamicization and friendship with Arab dictators over friendship with America and Israel.

The reports that France helped Iraqi officials escape to Europe were not surprising, because France is now the European leader of the Arab world and of Arab interests.

In light of these circumstances, many would argue that France is no longer. . . .well, France.

Frontpage Symposium has put together a distinguished panel to deal with this phenomenon. In this two-part series (CLICK HERE to see Part II), we have the pleasure to be joined by Jean-François Revel, one of the most famous French writers and a member of the French academy. He is the author of many books, including How Democracies Perish and of the recently published L’Obesssion Anti-Américaine (The Anti-American Obsession) which has been on the best sellers list in France for more than three months; Charles Kupchan. a professor at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of The End of the American Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-first Century; Guy Milliere, a Professor at the University of Paris who serves as an economist for the Bank of France. He is a columnist in the French press and is the author of L'Amérique-Monde (World-America), and Un Gout De Cendres: France, Fin de Parcours? (A Taste of Ashes. France: The End of the Road?); Alain Madelin, a former Chief of the French Department of Finances, former President of Democratie Liberale (a neo-conservative political party that is now part of the UMP, a moderate right coalition), President of Les Cercles Liberaux (a French neo-conservative think tank), and a prominent politician in France. Toni Kamins, the author of The Complete Jewish Guide to France and The Complete Jewish Guide to Britain and Ireland (St. Martin's Press), the first two books in a series of Jewish historical travel guides she created. She has graduate degrees in political science from the City University of New York, has lived in Paris for many years and studied at the L’Institut d'Etudes Politiques; and Yves Roucaute, a philosopher, writer, and professor of political sciences at the University of Paris.

Interlocutor: Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Frontpage Symposium. It is a privilege to have you here. Jean-François Revel and Yves Roucaute will arrive a little late for this symposium and will summarize their viewpoints near the end.

Let me begin, perhaps, with a little bit of a loaded question and we will see where the conversation goes.

I think that it is becoming increasingly obvious that the presence of a growing Muslim population in France is having quite a significant impact on the French government’s behavior. This is no surprise, perhaps, because, some thirty years ago, France made the conscious decision to create close ties with some Arab dictators and started to push Europe to become closer to the “Arab view of the world.” In part, it did this to create, for lack of a better description, an “anti-American alliance” between Europe and the Arab world.

So now, perhaps, it is no great surprise that France is behaving more and more as if it is the leader of the Arab world. One can only imagine what will be, within twenty years, when Muslims will be more than twenty per cent of the French population, and non-Muslims will be older than Muslims.

Today, we already see the consequences, especially with the reports that France helped Iraqi officials escape to Europe. True, the reports have not been verified, but in light of the circumstances, they are completely believable.

What do my guests make of these realities? Or are some of the points illegitimate and based on faulty assumptions?

Kamins: The assumptions are illegitimate and are based on a critical misunderstanding of France in particular (and Europe in general).

France has not taken an "Arab view of the world", it has taken a French view. It may be at odds with the US view and even US interests, but the French have always had ambivalent feelings about the US and I view this as a manifestation of that.

France is in a difficult situation. For decades Muslims from France’s former colonies have settled in France proper. But the French, who are loathe to accept anyone or anything non-French, have not made them welcome -- they don’t want them there. And to drive that point across they have relegated them to living in what are known as the banlieue or suburbs. These are government housing projects soulless places where the residents have little if any contact with the rest of French society except for a mind-numbing bureaucracy.

Unemployment is high, education is an afterthought, access to mainstream French society is nearly impossible, and being arrested for suspicion of this or that is common. The disdain and contempt in which these people are held is palpable, and as comes as no surprise to anyone except the French, crime, drugs, and other social problems are rampant.

The level of alienation that exists in the banlieue cannot be overstated and it is difficult for those who are unfamiliar with France (which seems to include every American who has written about France of late) to understand it. The French have always dismissed the problem and hoped it would go away.

But it has not gone away and now France is faced with 5 million plus Muslims in its midst many of whom have no interest in assimilating into the social or political fabric of the country.

Kupchan: The question conflates two separate issues -- the Muslim population in France and France's position on the Iraq war.

France's Muslim population is large -- some 5 million -- and growing. In light of France's looming demographic shortfall, immigration will need to continue, if not pick up. Many of these immigrants will likely be from North Africa. France, as well as many other European countries, needs to do a better job integrating immigrants into mainstream society and ensuring that they do not feel like excluded, second-class citizens. The spirit and practice of multiethnicity need to be nurtured -- urgently.

France's position on the Iraq war was influenced by its Muslim population -- France feared domestic unrest. But the French government also opposed the war for several other reasons -- the impact on the Arab world, the difficulties of post-war reconstruction, the potential increase in terrorism, the need to tame U.S. power. It is also important to keep in mind that most of Europe's electorate, including the French public, was strongly opposed to the war.

Madelin: One thing is right in the answers of Toni Kamins and Charles Kupchan: France is in a difficult situation. France has not enough babies and will have a very serious problem within a few years when the retirement system will be in full crisis (It’s already in crisis, but it’s only the beginning).

France will have another very serious problem in a few years, people who were born Muslims will become a larger part of the population. According to all the estimates, Muslims are now ten per cent of the French population. Within twenty years, they will be at least twenty per cent of the population. In front of this second problem, two solutions could be chosen. Solution one: to do everything to fully integrate the Muslims into French society. Solution two: to accept the idea that Muslims will be a “community” in a multicultural France.

The solution that has been adopted has been solution two. And the choice has been made a long time ago, at least thirty years ago. Young people who had never spoken the Arab language had to learn the Arab language to “recreate a relation to their roots”. The professors were coming from North Africa, and their text book was the Quran. The creation of the Muslim Council of France is just a new step on the way to create a “Muslim community” in a multicultural France.

I hope it’s still possible to change the situation, but it would be necessary to act now. Within a few years it will be too late. Already it’s very late: the positions adopted by the French government concerning the war upon Iraq were partly dictated by the fear of riots. In many French schools, professors have to skip the history of the shoah.

If nothing changes, the French view of the world and the Arab view of the world will become so close, it will be hard to distinguish one from the other. It’s true, France would like to tame the US power, but France has no ways to do it, except to try to use the United Nations, and it failed. France would like to build Europe to make of it a kind of rival of the United States. The other European countries do not share this vision of Europe. The French public was strongly opposed to the war because the media, the elites and the politicians were all saying very loudly they were opposed to the war. If you give no explanation to people, it is logical that they will not understand. The role of genuine leaders is to be bold, to make the right decisions and to explain what has to be explained.

Milliere: I disagree completely with Toni Kamins. France today is completely unable to have a French view of the world. The French government today seems to believe it still has the power it had in the time of De Gaulle. It’s completely wrong.

France has no army and no police anymore. France is declining fast, demographically speaking and economically speaking. France does not serve its own interest: as a part of the West, if it was the case, she would have to be on the side of the West, and so on the side of the United States.

France behaves more and more as if she does belong to the West anymore and as though she is the leader of the third world. Doing this, France has nothing to win, maybe just second-rate contracts and an ephemeral popularity among all the frustrated in the world. France will win only one thing, and for a short time, peace inside France: it will avoid riots among Muslims living in France now.

If many Muslims did not integrate in France, it’s because a long time ago the government has chosen subsidies and welfare instead of jobs, and lawlessness instead of order. Now comes the time to pay the price: France has many unemployed Muslims, many lawless zones where people live off of many illicit tradings and make there in one day what they could make legally in one month.

It starts to be too late to integrate Muslim immigrants into mainstream society, and it’s not the government choice to integrate Muslims. The government choice is to push the mainstream society to accept Islam more and more and to accept the idea that within twenty years, France will be either a Muslim society or a society very open to the values and practices of Muslim societies.

Nothing is done right now to push young Muslims to integrate into mainstream society. Everything is done to push them to think they belong to a different community: the Muslim community. Those coming from this community who disagree and who want to say they are completely French are pushed in the margins by the media and by the French politicians. For years, French schools have not pushed new comers to integrate and to love France; they have pushed them to hate France and western civilization.

For the years to come, France will stay in very bad shape: non-Muslim French people will grow older while Muslim French people will become the largest part of the French youth. The French welfare state has pushed many young Muslim people to understand they will be better off, financially speaking, if they become drug dealers instead of average workers. The French socialist state has pushed many young Muslim people to believe they are the "victims" of French society, and that French society has to pay now.

The recent creation of a Council of Muslim Faith by the French government is not a good sign at all: a) all the people who were born Muslims will be counted as Muslims, even if they are not Muslims anymore (it’s a big victory for the integrists), b) only the people going to the mosque on a regular basis will be taken into account, according to the superficy of the mosque, and only these people will have a right to vote to appoint the members of the Council, c) as, on the average, only ten per cent of the people born Muslim in France go to the mosque it will mean the people elected by these ten per cent will be the official representatives of all French Muslims.

The French government has made a choice. The choice has been to give a stronger influence to Muslim organisations. The choice has been to create closer ties with Arab dictatorships and weaker ties with the United States.

Kamins: Mr. Milliere misunderstands my use of the term French view of the world (I meant it in the sense that it is its own view and not necessarily one held by other countries for whatever reason). But be that as it may I think we are all in agreement that something has happened to France that has changed it from a country of Frenchmen to something else. And we are in agreement that that something is the immigration of large number so Muslims and the failure of those Muslims to integrate or to be integrated into France.

I don't have an answer to the problem. I don't believe anybody does. If there were an answer it would have to have been put into place long ago. But I believe this is the question that must be addressed.

There are similarities between France’s historical relationship with its Jews and its relationship with its Muslims. Both groups are cultural and religious minorities in what was an essentially homogenous society.

The Muslims in France are regarded with fear, suspicion, and hatred. That was certainly true (and arguably still may be) of France’s Jews at the time they were granted civil rights two hundred years ago. Many Jews in France at the time preferred to be left to their own devices in terms of religious governance and many were afraid that becoming integrated into French society would result in a withering away of their Jewish character and of Jewish practice.

The greatest challenge for France’s Muslims is to decide whether they want to remain Muslims in France or become French Muslims.

Do they want to transplant their religion, culture, and way of life to La France Profonde without compromise and turn France into another Muslim state with all that implies? Or do they want to embrace the rights and responsibilities of French citizenship and become part of a French future? The former has grave implications, and not only for France. Clearly there are advocates for both positions.

Kupchan: I associate myself with the remarks of Ms. Kamins -- she poses the core question directly: will immigrants be Muslims in France or will they be French Muslims? The latter is clearly preferable from many different perspectives. As with Jews, there has to be a push and a pull to make integration work. Jews wanted to escape the ghetto and enter the mainstream. French society, to varying degrees, was welcoming. In similar fashion, Muslims in France have to want to become French Muslims. And France has to be willing. Otherwise the experiment is multiethnicity is likely to fail.

Milliere: I do not think I misunderstood what Kamins said about the “French view of the world”, and I think it is necessary to repeat that France has made choices that have consequences. France now has the view of the world held by other countries like Libya, Algeria and Syria. And I think it’s bad. The French government has made the choice to become the closest ally of Arab dictators. The recent visit of Dominique de Villepin to Arafat is a symbol of this choice.

I do not think there are similarities between France’s historical relationship with its Jews and its relations with its Muslims. Jews have been the victims of discriminations in France. Anti-Semitism was still very strong in France sixty years ago. The French police did all they could in their power to send as many Jews as possible to Nazi concentration camps in the forties. The discrimination
against Jews was completely unfair and without justifications. French Jews have never created troubles. As soon as they have received the opportunity to do so, they decided to become French Jews.

The problem posed by the Muslims now is completely different. Twenty years ago, there were much less Muslims in France, and they were doing their best to become French Muslims. It is not the case anymore. Muslims in France now are regarded with fear and suspicion because many young Muslims choose to live a thug life (fifty per cent of the inmates in the French jails are Muslim). Fear and suspicion have a basis in reality. The young Muslims that do not choose to live a thug life consider themselves members of the Arab-Muslim community more than they consider themselves as French citizens. Or when they say they are French citizens, they add very often: “we are French citizens, so the French government has to show more respect for Islam and the Arab world”. Only a tiny minority of young French Muslims are moderates: if they criticize the others, they receive death threats... It’s clear the choice of the immense majority of the Muslims living in France is to remain Muslims in France. Is there still a solution? I must say I’m pessimistic.

Kamins: Mr. Milliere puts words in my mouth. I never said the French haven't made choices....even wrong choices.

Mr. Milliere seems woefully ignorant of the history of the Jews of France. That history is not confined to the twentieth century....the Jewish community in France goes back to the fifth century. During most of that time Jews were subjected to all manner of discrimination, anti-Jewish violence, forced conversion, and humiliation including segregation from the rest of the population. During the French Revolution an emancipation movement arose from within the Jewish community and the French liberal class. Napoleon Bonaparte established a Jewish council, very similar in nature to today's Muslim Council. But there was also great consternation and upheaval among the Jews of the time that the compromises promulgated by Bonaparte along with the Jewish Council (which became the present day Consistoire Centrale) would mean that they would become less Jewish. It was by no means an easy transition and it took decades.....some Jews of the time never did want to be French, they were perfectly happy just being Jews in France if only the French would let them live an unfettered life.

When Mr. Milliere says that "French Jews have never created troubles", he is correct. But in the eyes of many Frenchmen of the 18th, 19th, 20th, and even 21st centuries, the Jews of France are a blight on the country...indeed of the world.

I agree that the Muslim problem seems more serious and it is different in that Muslims have several countries backing them up. This was not the case with the Jews. I don't disagree with Mr. Milliere on this point. There is the serious crime and drug problem etc. But one has to wonder if an attempt to integrate them had been made on the part of the French government and society if things might be different. I don't know.

Madelin: Let me interject here for a moment. One of the key problems in this whole issue is the failure of integrating the majority of the Muslims living in France.

From my perspective, this failure has many roots.

First root: The unemployment rate in France is very high. It’s often very difficult for a young Muslim in France to find a job. Some discrimination exists, it’s impossible to hide it. If France was stronger economically speaking and if there was no unemployment we would be on the way to find a solution.

Second root: France is a welfare state where it’s easy to earn more money asking for assistance than looking for a job. In many families, and now many Muslim families, assistance has become a way of life. If you spend your days doing nothing, you can start to have temptations. If you see drug dealers driving around in fancy cars, your temptations take shape.

Third root: For years, the police have been very weak. Law and order have disappeared in the most part of the suburbs of the big cities. If you think it’s not too risky to become a dealer, you become a dealer. If you see the police are afraid of you, you lose respect for the police and finally, you lose respect for the French government.

Fourth root: In schools, leftist teachers teach young Muslims that France colonized their countries and that the French army committed atrocities. The result: many young Muslims hate France. It’s not their fault it’s the fault of French education. Fifth root: For years, France has permitted to countries like Saudi Arabia to build many mosques and to send many radical imams to preach in these mosques. The result is a new generation of young radical Muslims.

I still think there are solutions, but the problem is huge.

Interlocutor: Thank you Alain. Ladies and gentlemen, we are out of time for this first part of our dialogue on the death of France. We'll continue this conversation tomorrow. Take care for now.

See Part II - below
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Soviet Studies. He is the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of the new book The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com


The Death of France? Part II
By Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazine.com, June 10, 2003
http://www.frontpagemag.com/
Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=8289

Welcome back to our symposium: The Death of France?

In this second and final part (Click Here to see Part I), Frontpage Magazine continues to host a discussion with Jean-François Revel, one of the most famous French writers and a member of the French academy. He is the author of many books, including How Democracies Perish and of the recently published L’Obesssion Anti-Américaine (The Anti-American Obsession) which has been on the best sellers list in France for more than three months; Charles Kupchan. a professor at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of The End of the American Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-first Century; Guy Milliere, a Professor at the University of Paris who serves as an economist for the Bank of France. He is a columnist in the French press and is the author of L'Amérique-Monde (World-America), and Un Gout De Cendres: France, Fin de Parcours? (A Taste of Ashes. France: The End of the Road?); Alain Madelin, a former Chief of the French Department of Finances, former President of Democratie Liberale (a neo-conservative political party that is now part of the UMP, a moderate right coalition), President of Les Cercles Liberaux (a French neo-conservative think tank), and a prominent politician in France. Toni Kamins, the author of The Complete Jewish Guide to France and The Complete Jewish Guide to Britain and Ireland (St. Martin's Press), the first two books in a series of Jewish historical travel guides she created. She has graduate degrees in political science from the City University of New York, has lived in Paris for many years and studied at the L’Institut d'Etudes Politiques; and Yves Roucaute, a philosopher, writer, and professor of political sciences at the University of Paris.

Interlocutor: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen. Let's continue our discussion.

The more I study the history of France in the 20th century, the more I come to the conclusion that the psyche of the French people might justifiably warrant an entire psychiatric conference.

Throughout the entire 20th century, the French seemed to spend most of their time desperately craving being crushed by some kind of foreign totalitarian power. Their dreams, obviously, were shattered by the Americans, who rescued them from the Nazis and subsequently protected them from the Soviets. But now the French have cleverly figured it all out: to be taken over by Islam from within.

Is it really a surprise, as Guy Milliere pointed out in his article France is Not a Western Country Anymore, that today

“in many French cities with a growing radical Islamist population, no teenage girl can go out in the evening, at least not without a full burqa. If she does, it will mean that ‘she is for everybody’: in short, a whore. In the same cities, every teenage girl - regardless of religion - has to wear the Muslim veil if she does not want to be harassed or killed.”

These circumstances are not just coincidences. The French have consciously created this reality.

And is all of this not connected to the fact, as Mr. Milliere has also alluded to in one of his earlier answers, that in Vichy France during World War II, the French did much more than just cooperate with the Nazis? French security forces took it upon themselves to round up and hand over 61,000 Jews to the Nazis -- without even a request from the Nazis to do so. Those Jews ended up in Auschwitz, Dachau and Treblinka.

In the 1970s, France could not even disguise its anti-Semitic appetite. With few Nazis around, the French reached out to Arabs for a rendezvous with anti-Semitism. France distinguished itself by promising the PLO that it would not arrest its terrorists who used French territory as a base for attacks on Israel. All France required was that the PLO did not inflict its violence on French soil.

What is the problem here? I think it is pretty much impossible to deny that there is a profound pathology in the French national psyche. Do my guests agree?

Milliere: I think you’re right, France is a very sick country. Many French still dream about the time when France was the main power in the Western world. It has been over for three centuries now, and so they are full of envy when they think about the countries that became more powerful than France after the death of Louis XIVth. Great Britain first, then the United States. For the French, the United States has no past, no legitimacy, no culture and if they are the first power in the world it’s really unfair.

France has been a very anti-Semitic country for a long time. One of the main best sellers at the time of the Dreyfus case was a book called “The Jewish France”. The writer, Edouard Drumont, was also the editor of a very successful anti-Semitic daily “The Free Speech”. It’s after he saw happened to Alfred Dreyfus that Hertzl understood it would be impossible for the Jews to be fully accepted in Europe and that they had to have their own state again.

France is still anti-Semitic today: the new French anti-Semitism has three sources, the hate of the extreme-right for Jews, the hate of Muslims for Jews, the hate of leftists for Israel. Suddenly, the extreme-right has nothing against Muslims, they have something in common: the hatred of Jews. Lefitists become supporters of radical Muslims: they have something in common too: their hatred for Israel.

For years, France has searched to create alliances against the United States. Now it’s a conscious alliance with Islamists and Arab dictators. The French dream to see the United States defeated. Just by envy. Just because France is very socialist and hates wealth and creativity. The French government has no problems with hypocrisy, it’s an old French tradition.

France is not very attached to democracy. All the five republics France has known collapsed in an atmosphere of chaos. The French love leaders that give them the appearance of strength, even if it brings them to disaster, and in front of a strong enemy, they surrender very easily. They surrendered to the Nazis in six days; they have already surrendered to radical Muslims thirty years ago.

The people I meet in France are not ready to fight: they say “soon our women will have to wear scarves, that’s life”... I am finishing a book in English about this French sickness. I think it has to be fully explained.

Kamins: Here again I don't know that I have an adequate rejoinder to the comments made either by Mr. Milliere or by our host. All that has been said is true. However, I believe the problems described are not quite as extreme as they are painted to be, though I think they may very well become that extreme in (not too distant) future. In the less extreme scenario perhaps there lies a glimmer of hope.

And that is not only a hope for France, but a hope for all of Europe and even for the United States. France can be viewed as a bellwether for this so-called Muslim problem. Many other countries in Europe are facing similar challenges though I believe that the problem is most grave, and can be seen in a more extreme form in France. The United States is not immune. We have seen from the events of September 11, 2001 that there are radical Islamists living in our midst. And there are organizations in our country and close to our government that seek greater ties with the Islamic world.

Kupchan: It is worth keeping in mind that France was the one country to seek throughout the 1930s to put together a coalition against Hitler. The British stuck their heads in the sand. The Russians cut a deal with the devil. The Americans were nowhere to be found.

To be sure, France fell quite quickly once the war began. Its high command was incompetent and the Maginot Line was ill-conceived. But at least France appreciated the danger posed by Germany and desperately searched for allies.

It is also worth keeping in mind that France was Israel's main supplier of arms during Israel's early years. And that, Vichy notwithstanding, Jews in France today are integrated and influential members of French society. The notion of some type of congenital French anti-Semitism is pure poppy-cock.

France certainly has a growing Muslim population that, given its demographic shortfall, is likely to grow in the years ahead. A key question to keep an eye on is how and in what ways France seeks to build a more multi-ethnic society and integrates Muslims into the social mainstream.

Kamins: I don't agree that congenital French anti-Semitism is "pure poppy-cock". It exists today just as it exists everywhere to one degree or another and I believe the perception that France is stopped being anti-Semitic and then started again comes from the mistaken notion that anti-Semitism somehow disappeared after the Shoah (Holocaust). It didn't, it was merely driven underground to a large extent. Now it has become fashionable to be openly anti-Semitic again so France and other countries are just reverting to normal. The mistake was in assuming that anti-Semitism disappeared in the first place.

I think part of the perception that France lost its anti-Semitism and then just recently regained it has come from the many Americans and American Jews who have had a love affair with France since the end of the Second World War --- a love affair based more on false notions about the life of American expatriates there and the literature they produced then real knowledge of France and things French. In point of fact most Americans, even those who visit France often, know nothing about the country, its society and history, mores etc. And they certainly don't speak French.
But it is true that traditional French Christian anti-Semitism is not likely to erupt into physical violence as it once did. That role now falls to the Muslim anti-Semites.

Milliere: I disagree completely with Charles Kupchan. It would be hard to find many traces of concern about Nazi Germany in the French press or in French politics in the thirties. In 1936, the French elected a socialist government, and the main concern of the majority of French people was a paid holiday. At the same time, Germans were building the arms they would soon use.

Sorry, congenital French anti-Semitism is far from “pure poppy-cock.” The main anti-Semitic books published during the nineteenth century have been French books (I do not feel especially proud of it, but it’s a fact). Two of the main French newspapers during the 1930 were clearly anti-Semitic: “L’Action Française” and “Je Suis Partout.” France did not believe at all in the survival of
Israel in 1948 and the majority of guns the Israeli army used to survive came not from France but from Eastern Europe.

France has been a supplier of guns to Israel for seventeen years. After the 1967 war, De Gaulle started what’s now called the “Arab policy of France”. This was a conscious decision to abandon Israel because the Israeli people were assumed to be arrogant dominators who were too sure of themselves.

France is already a multi-ethnic society. The risk for her is to become a “multicultural society” where some, like in Orwell book, would be more equal than others...

Kupchan: Mr. Milliere, go back and read the history of the 1930s. The French were the one country that tried to put together a blocking coalition and that argued in favor of war against Germany before the Nazis increased their strength.

Has France been a stalwart defenders of Jews throughout its history? Of course not. Has France been a strong backer of Israel recently? No. But that is a far cry from arguing in favor of congenital and durable anti-Semitism. Again, Jews in France today are well integrated into the mainstream -- one cannot say that in all European countries.

Milliere: Mr. Kupchan, I am quite familiar with the history of the 1930s, thank you. One French Secretary of State, Louis Barthou, thought to create a coalition against Germany. It was in September 1934. Barthou was assassinated three month later. For the rest of the 1930s you find nothing interesting in French history, except instability, unrest, scandals, extreme right activists and socialism. In 1936, Hitler reoccupied the demilitarized zone. France did nothing. Just like Great Britain.

Mr. Kupchan, you should come to France and meet French Jews: the large majority of them all strongly sense the significant rise of anti-Semitism in France, and the large majority of them are scared of what’s happening. Many of them think they will have to leave France soon.

Christopher Caldwell published an excellent article about it this phenomenon in The Weekly Standard one year ago. The article is called: “Liberty, Equality, Judeophobia”. What Caldwell described still exists today. Judeophobia in France is widespread and rising. Sure, you risk nothing if, in order to show you are well integrated, you hide the fact that you are a Jew and if you say you hate Israel. As David Horowitz said, “Jews can be anti-Semites”. Some French Jews are anti-Semites and are very well integrated.

Madelin: France has known many traumas during the last two centuries. She lost her place as the first power of the Western World. She lost her influence and her prestige. She lost her empire. She lost four wars during the twentieth century (even if sometimes the defeat has been hidden). Under the leadership of De Gaulle, French have had the feeling France was becoming an important country again. All this vanished because of more than twenty years of socialist policies and more than twenty years of blindness and envy. I do not think the solution is multiculturalism. It would be the end of France. I think we would have to clearly choose economic freedom and zero tolerance in matters of security. I think we have to find again reasons to be proud to be French.

Right now, I see no reason to be proud. I disagree completely with the foreign policy of Chirac and Villepin and I have said this many times. It’s more necessary than ever to explain to French people why anti-Americanism is stupid. America is our ally and France will be saved only if it stays the ally of the United States. It’s time for France to change all its policies or it will become mortally sick.

Roucaute: In listening to everyone in this symposium, I must agree with Madelin and Millière. France is a very sick nation. Sometimes I think that it’s only if France pays the full price for its positions that some real change will come. It’s not really the fault of the French people; they receive very bad information and almost all the books they can find in bookstores are anti-American. It’s the fault of the politicians who have no courage and explain nothing. It’s the fault of journalists who prefer Islam to America because the majority of them have been leftists in the sixties when they were young. They have not changed, they are just older.

The sickness of France has been largely created by people who want only one thing: to destroy freedom and to destroy Western civilization. The only book describing France as it is now has been written by Guy Milliere and it was hard for him to find a publisher in France. I want to write a book about all this. I cannot find a publisher myself in France. That fact alone is very meaningful.

Jean-François Revel: As I said in the last book I published, France is the prey of an anti-American obsession. For the French, Americans are the enemy they have to hate in every circumstance. They have to hate Americans because Americans are successful, because Americans are powerful, because the French prefer resentment to achievement. They are so obsessed by their hatred of the United States they do not see anymore the real dangers confronting France. It’s a very dangerous situation. I do not know how we could go out of this situation. I honestly don’t know if it is even still possible.

Kamins: I think some of these statements are gross oversimplifications and the willingness of some of the people here to ascribe to them scares the hell out of me. And they are very French responses. The problems we have been discussing are neither new nor are they simple and we will not arrive at solutions by make broad general statements that are devoid of substance.

Milliere: I think it’s outrageous to say a great thinker like Jean-François Revel can use gross oversimplifications. It would be better to read his last book L’Obsession Anti-Américaine (The Anti-American Obsession) to understand his thinking. It’s the same with Yves Roucaute. Maybe our responses look very French because we live in France and we can see what’s happening day after day. Many of the problems we have discussed in this symposium are new: it’s the first time in history that Muslims represent ten per cent of the French population, and it’s in a time when a large part of this population has relations in one way or another with radical Islamists. It’s the first time in history that a French government chose so clearly the Arab-Muslim camp and the third world camp.

Anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism are not new in France, what’s new is that they have more and more the colors of Third World anti-Americanism and Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism. Maybe you have to be in France to see that the statements of Revel and Roucaute are not devoid of substance. We, French neo-conservatives, have many reasons to be anxious and we think it’s too easy to say from a far and above position that what we see everyday does not exist and is just a fantasy of old pro-American and pro-Republican reactionaries.

Interlocutor: Ladies and gentlemen, what policy should the U.S. adopt toward France? If the French have not dealt a helping hand to the Americans, and if they have clearly aided America's enemies (Saddam being one of them), then shouldn't Washington make France pay a price?

Milliere: Sure, I think France would have to pay a price. France is now too unreliable to have any kind of decision power in NATO. Does France have to keep a permanent seat at the Security Council of the United Nations? And wouldn’t it be necessary to create a new basis for a new United Nations? France would have to be excluded from any kind of contract in the Middle East. France should have no word to say in the Isreali-Palestinian negotiations.

The French government has to learn that some attitudes have a price, and no one in the US today believes in France’s speeches about “principles”. French people would have to see clearly that their leaders are not “principled people” fighting for the respect of international law, but just crooks, cowards and liars. As a supposed French friend of freedom and the United States, France has to pay a price for sacrificing freedom and the greatest protector of it. In general, friends help their friends: America would help its French friend if it made it pay a price.

Kamins: I think it would be a monumental mistake to exclude France as Mr. Milliere suggests. History has shown us that the best way to drive a country to extremism is to isolate it and the best way to co-opt it is to demonstrate that our way is also in the best interests of France.

Kupchan: France, Germany, and Russia, along with most of the world's population, was opposed to going to war against Iraq. France, Germany, and Russia are democracies (at least the first two). That they should be punished for opposing the war suggests that anyone who disagrees with the United States should be punished. This is wrong-headed and arrogant. If the US punishes every country that disagrees with US policy, then the US will very rapidly find the world a lonely place. It already is. Take a look at the last Pew public opinion poll and take notice of rising anti-American sentiment across the globe.

We are losing France, Germany, and Russia as allies. We are gaining Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. The merits of the Central Europeans aside, this is not a trade up. America is in the midst of undoing the multilateral order it worked so hard to build after World War II. Americans, along with everyone else, will be the losers.

Milliere: I think Toni Kamins has to recognize that France is already isolated. The rest of Europe (except Belgium and Germany) is not on the French positions.

This isolation is hidden to the French public. If you make it more obvious and if you find a way to show to the French public that the monumental mistake was made by the present French government, you would help genuine friends of the US, like me, Jean-François Revel, Yves Roucaute and Alain Madelin to explain that American interests and French interests are the same in this troubled and dangerous age.

It is also important to point out that Third world dictatorships are always opposed to a war made to topple a dictator. Leftists have been very good at organizing protests in the name of peace (who is not for peace?). Tony Blair showed a genuine sense of leadership even though he is a socialist. Everybody know Germany was against war because Schroeder needs to maintain an alliance with the German Greens who are leftists and anti-Americans. Everybody know Russia was against the war because Putin was afraid to lose money and contracts if Saddam was toppled.

Everybody in France knows Chirac and Villepin acted as they did, not because they disagreed with the US, but because France too had a lot to lose if Saddam was toppled. Anti-Americanism is rising in the world because large parts of the world are very sick and full of envy. France acted as the leader of the axis of envy, it’s the reason why I think she has to pay the price. France is not an ally of the US anymore.

The German moderate right could govern Germany again soon, and it wants to re-establish good relations with the US. Putin knows he need the US to save Russia. You will have soon 25 countries in Europe: only three of them were opposed to the war. France will be more and more isolated, and you’ll see the rest of Europe is not lost for the US. The multilateral order that has been built after World War II is already dead: the United Nations are now a club of thugs and dictators. It would be necessary to rebuild a decent multilateral order. The one we have now has lost all decency. The losers have to be unprincipled leaders like Chirac and unprincipled organisations like the UN. Or the world will become a very unsafe place.

Interlocutor: Well, Guy, I guess we will let you have the last word. We are out of time. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have you all here. Jean-François Revel, Charles Kupchan, Guy Milliere, Alain Madelin, Toni Kamins and Yves Roucaute, thank you. We will see you again soon.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Soviet Studies. He is the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of the new book The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com

Posted by David Melle at June 10, 2003 10:56 PM
Comments

You have a nice little place here. Keep it up :)

Posted by: Sam on June 11, 2003 07:57 PM

Do not forget about Germany chosing the same path as their humiliated french brothers. Being a german resident, I see the same dangers awaiting Germany under the rule of chancellor Schröder and his likes. In Germany it also pays, considering elections, to play the french-style anti-american and anti-semitic tune...sadly.

Posted by: Ephialtes on July 7, 2003 10:54 AM

The French Christians have forgotten how Muslim barbarians killed and raped millions of Europeans during the middle ages. They have forgotten abour Charles Martel in Tours defeating the Moorish muslims.FRANCE IS CHRISTIAN. CHASE THE MUSLIMS BACK IF THEY DO NOT RESPECT CHRISTIANS / JEWS.

Posted by: Tom Peter on February 20, 2004 08:07 PM
Post a comment 
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:


Remember info?



Email this entry
Email this entry to (please enter email address):


Your email address:


Message (optional):


Referrers to this Page

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains some copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.




(According to digits.com)